A combination of classics and new tours add up to a big year for Shea's Performing Arts Center's fall season.
Some of next season's shows at Shea's are very familiar, like "The Phantom of the Opera," Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel "Love Never Dies" and "School of Rock." Others are newer, like "Waitress" and "The Bodyguard." Gloria Estefan's musical "On Your Feet" will rehearse in the downtown entertainment center before opening its tour here.
Marketing and Public Affairs Director Lisa Grisanti said "On Your Feet" shows the theater's importance in the industry.
"With our reputation in the touring Broadway community, along with the tax credit legislation passed in Albany last year, that has resulted in our opportunity to launch this major national tour," Grisanti said. "And we have a very high subscription base, one of the top subscription bases for a one-week market."
Last year, "Finding Neverland" also did its rehearsals here, pouring tens of thousands of dollars into the local economy, before opening.
Shea's also has an incentive to be a season subscriber this new season. The award-winning Broadway blockbuster "Hamilton!" is coming to town for the 2018 season, but this year's season subscribers will have first crack for tickets on the Shea's stage.
The big run this fall is "The Lion King," which will be running from December 13, 2017-January 7, 2018, making it the big show for the holiday season.
"We continue to hear from our patrons and they are always requesting to bring back "The Lion King" and it's just one of those spectacular shows with beautiful story, music, sets, costumes, everything and it truly is a spectacle for everyone," Grisanti said.